Day 10

Christ Restores Broken Bodies

from the The Miracles of Jesus reading plan

Luke 5:18-26, Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 13:10-17, John 5:1-15

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Luke 5:18-26, Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 13:10-17, John 5:1-15

The migraines started in the winter. At times I was dizzy, other times nauseated, but my head was always pounding. In the summer, I sat across from a doctor as he explained that I had a rare, incurable condition called Diabetes Insipidus. Basically put, my body can’t retain water, which means if I drink a glass of water, it travels through my body in about 25 minutes. It’s an endless cycle of hydration, a thirst that’s never quenched.

At first, it was a relief just to have an answer. But over time my morale tanked and my body crashed. I found myself using most of my energy just to get the prescribed nine to eleven liters of water into my system each day. There was no cure. No rest.

When I read about Jesus healing the man at Bethesda, I come a little undone. Not because all is suddenly well, but because I can so easily imagine the man giving up hope after living on the fringe of community for so long. What I cannot imagine is thirty-eight years of a broken body. One year has been more than enough for me, and a lifetime is far too much to think about if I want to keep my sanity.

But here’s the thing that really haunts me: Jesus says to the man, “Get up… pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). He tells the man to walk, but He doesn’t just mean physically. There’s always a bigger picture with Jesus.

Scripture tells us a Jewish festival was taking place at that time in Jerusalem (v.1). The healed man was able to attend the feast as a restored member of society, no longer an outcast. During the celebration at the temple, Jesus finds him and says, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you” (v.14).

Jesus is getting at something much deeper—our sweet Savior is talking about the heart, about spiritual paralysis. He says, in essence, “You think that was bad? There are far worse fates.” Jesus’ charge to walk has a much more significant meaning: to step forward in faith, repent, and believe. The physical healing was never the end of the story.

When faced with long-term devastation, we ache because we feel that horrible tension of longing for better while living with broken. To watch Christ administer miraculous healing to broken bodies in Scripture reminds us that one day, we will all be healed and whole and well. But now, today, we live in both broken bodies and a broken world.

There are days when I go a few hours and forget that my body is broken. But there are also days when I feel myself starting to lose my grip—when I look in the mirror and think to myself, Surely, this is going to stop. And it doesn’t.

So this is what I do: I take slow, steady sips of water. I take one day at a time. And by His grace, I lean into Jesus, through the long-term illness that keeps me close to Him. When I feel paralyzed by what seems to be both a life sentence and a death sentence, I find that He is ever-present in my struggle (Psalm 46:1).

Jesus beckons to me in my broken, crippled body to “pick up my mat, and walk.” He invites me into faith, into a taste of eternity now in relationship with Him.


Melissa Zaldivar is a social in the world of academics and an academic in the world of socials. Ever the Enneagram Six, she likes to dream big, talk herself out of it, and then just do the thing already. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Bible/Theology as well as a Master’s in Theology. Her passions include eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches, showing people pictures of her nieces, and nerding out over biblical languages. If you ever need to know anything about obscure Puritanical American history or NASA, she’s your girl.

Post Comments (78)

78 thoughts on "Christ Restores Broken Bodies"

  1. Caroline says:

    I am so thankful that Jesus is healer. Not just of our hearts, but our bodies too. NOTHING is impossible with him.

    I believe Lord. Heal me!

  2. Sabrina says:

    This reading challenges me so much. I have such a heart to see people healed. My greatest fears are linked with sickness and my greatest hopes are to see God heal. In His Word, it’s so simple. Jesus and the disciples just wield His authority, commanding and seeing the glory. I struggle with praying for others because I’ve seen them ‘not healed’ too many times. I’m not sure how to share that healing power of Christ when it doesn’t always feel like it shows up. I still pray and give God the glory, but I’m seeking to see things deeper like He did– more of the heart and less of the physical.

  3. Victoria Rose Torrez says:

    This post blessed me so much today! I recently had open-heart surgery due to a head-on collision with a drunk driver, and I’m amazed at how merciful my God is. My surgeons told me that they were amazed that I didn’t “bleed out” and that I “shouldn’t be here.” Hearing that being tears of joy to my eyes. He is still working miracles!
    He is so loving!

    1. Amazed and inspired by your story and your beautiful faith!!

  4. Elle says:

    I am at this moment praying for my brain to communicate with my fingers. Thank you Jesus, for being the light. I reside in a broken body. I have MS. I mostly live in my bed. I have prayed for healing. I have hoped for miracle. I beg your forgiveness for my awkward fumbling with words, thought, and grammer. My grace is sufficient, for you goes round my mind. I am recalling a story about two vessels of clay for carrying water, one new and whole, one weathered and cracked. Every day the master takes both pots on the journey to the well. He fills both pots to the brim. The whole vessel does a wonderful job bringing home every last drop of water. The cracked vessel loses about half of it’s contents on the homeward journey and feels ashamed. The master tells the pot that he takes it along because of the good job it does… the pot brings home half the amount of the water, which is just the amount he needs and then he turns the vessel to look back on the path they have traveled to see the beautiful flowers growing all along the side of the road. The Master than thanks the vessel for watering the flowers that make his journey to well enjoyable… I think that my point is that God makes all things work for good… even our brokenness. Nothing is impossible for God.

    1. Carolina says:

      Thank you for sharing. That illustration really emphasizes that God does indeed work all things for our good.

    2. Sandy W. says:

      Thank you for your post. I will be praying for you Elle. May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and bring you close to Him.

    3. Christine Marie says:

      Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful illustration!

  5. churchmouse says:

    I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 28 years ago. Not an easy journey. But I have been in deep remission for the past six years (praise God!). Oh but I am desperate for healing still – healing of attitudes that creep in that are anything but pleasing to the Lord. A critical spirit. Sarcasm. Frustration that turns to resentment. These are far harder to live with and root out than my physical condition. Thank you, Melissa, for your transparency and for reminding me that physical healing is never the end of the story. I’m praying for all of us with broken bodies and broken souls – for complete healing so that we all walk in the fullness of joy found in Jesus.

    1. Lizzieb85 says:

      My SIL has Crohn’s. She is not a believer. She has recently extricated herself from our family. One of my deepest prayers is that God might heal her physically as a means to heal her spiritually as well. She has a lot of bitterness with regards to her disease.

      I’m happy to hear you are in remission!

      1. churchmouse says:

        I will add your SIL to my prayers. I take IV Remicade every eight weeks. It works for me. I have a wonderful gastroenterologist. I was diagnosed when our daughters were 2 years old and a newborn. But healing did not come then when of course I thought that would be the best time. But God was faithful to walk alongside and through the valleys. I pray now for healing for what I call attitude ailments. They are every bit as discouraging as the Crohns. I am trusting that He will heal me in this area as well..

    2. Jessica says:

      I also have Crohn’s disease, but was only diagnosed 7 years ago. I am able to mostly maintain it with medications and diet, but I still have awful flares. It brings me such joy to hear that you have been dealing with it for so long, but still have such a wonderful outlook on life. I’m just now learning to turn my frustration and self pity into gratefulness for the blessings I do have. I’ve even learned to laugh through the difficult times. I attribute my change of heart to the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing your story and prayers for continued remission!

  6. Julie Bedford says:

    Dear Melissa, I have had Diabetes Insipitus for 36 years from the surgery to remove a pituitary tumor. In the hospital I was given medicine to blow up my nose in 1981 and it regulates the water. I took it every 24 hours or when I would start going a lot. Stress can override the med., so you take some more. Now it is available in pill form so it needs no refrigeration. It is Dessmopressant Acetate.
    It is not curable but I am not affected by it except to take the medicine. The idea is to keep your body going potty regular amount of time, if it increases, take a partial pill. I lead a peaceful quite life as it relates to taking liquid and elimination of liquid. And please get rid of your Dr., regular drs know of this condition and the meds. I hope you get help. It never caused my migraines, that was BP. Teaching His-Story for Him, Julie Bedford [email protected]

    1. Karen L-C says:

      Julie and Melissa!! I really thought I was the only one out there with DI. Mine, too,was a result of pituitary tumor surgery. Desmopressin has saved my life. The pill form is so much easier than the nose spray. I thank God for giving us these meds so we can live regulated lives. Melissa, I recommend you run, don’t walk to a doctor’s office and get a prescription today. It is a game changer. Blessings to you both, your sister in Christ, Karen

      1. Julie Bedford says:

        Thank you for your added comments to support my story! Yes, dessmopressin is the correct spelling. And people, even on this blog think it has something to do with diabetes 1 or 2!!! I have even had my blood drawn in the hospital to check sugar level! I had to demand they stop taking it, I don’t have Diabetes Militus (sp) at all! Health workers are learning about it but 36 years ago they knew nothing, I would have to take my medicine to the hospital!

  7. TinaW. says:

    I haven’t read any of these daily devotions in this particular one, and have been pulled away from doing a lot of my reading… BUT…. God, He led me back, He is leading me to Him. I am type two diabetic, and needless to say, the lifestyle is hard.. I try to stay on the wagon so to speak, but then life happens.
    Suddenly, I realized the meds I was on were causing me reactions that were limiting me.. pounding heart, extreme abdominal pain… Here is where God stepped in, I prayed for guidance to restore my body to be what He has in my life plan… I called my N.P. , she allowed me to change meds, but not really wanting too… well those are not working, so where do I go, to the One who created every fiber of my being… I may not ever be completely well, but God will heal me when His timing is right. I must pick up my mat, my comfort place, my life and go to Him… I must listen for His guidance, He will never leave me nor forsake me…Just like the man on the mat, I must forever take the steps that lead to healing…. That my friend is Eternal healing…
    Thanks for these daily devotional readings… I grow when I learn, watering my soul one scripture at a time…

  8. Carol says:

    This so so much what I needed to hear today. I’ve been suffering with depression and anxiety for 4 months. I finally went to Dr yesterday. He had prescribed medicine for me. I’m needing to trust God this is what I need for this time now. Some of the side effects are kicking in. At first I just wanted to stay in bed and see if I could sleep it off. I couldn’t go to sleep, then I heard God tell me get up and do your devotions. Read this and it really spoke to me to “get up my mat and walk”. I am choosing to believe He will heal me if this anxiety and depression. Please pray and agree with me on this.

    1. TinaW. says:

      Praying for you right now Carol, please pray for me too!

    2. Lauren says:

      Carol, I believe in prayer with you that you are healed and whole from anxiety and depression in Jesus’ name. May He heal those anxious and depressed thoughts and emotions. I pray He bring peace and wholeness to you! I will help you carry your mat and walk! Love you sister.

    3. Samone says:

      Carol, I agree with Lauren. It has worked for me. However, you anxiety and depression might be underlying causes of a medical condition. For me, it was an under-active thyroid. I thought I was loosing my mind. I was so anxious. I dropped out of college because of it. My thyroid hormones were out of wack. Through prayer and change of diet, I have almost eliminated my anxiety. I graduate in a few weeks too! I want you to know, you are not alone. Prayer, song, meditation, rich & nourishing foods, and lots of support will help! Please do not be afraid of counseling either. Trust in the Lord to lead you back to health. I will be praying for you my beautiful, brave friend. Listen (I know it is hard when you have anxiety/depression)(You are stronger than this illness afflicting you!!!) and He will lead!

      1. Lindsey says:

        Yes, my anxiety also stems from an underactive thyroid. I stupidly did not take my medicine for the last two years or so and my body and mind have been out of control since the middle of March. Currently back on my medicine and working through lots of physical and mental issues. I have done more praying and scripture memory this past month than I have in a long time. Praying for peace and healing during this season.

    4. Lynda says:

      I have anxiety and panic attacks. It mostly happens in the dark of night. I “take up my mat” and my Bible and read until calm returns and then I try to sleep. Sometimes it is several times a night but God is good It’s getting better. I will be praying for you friend

    5. Lexi says:

      I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since my late teens (I’m now 35). On and off multiple meds, seeing different dr’s and naturopaths, therapy, hospital visits…it’s is exhausting and terrifying. These last few months, its improved some….I believe that’s Jesus giving me some relief after praying for healing for many years. This may be the load I have to carry for the rest of my life, but I’m grateful for every good day He grants me. I’m still just trying to learn to lean into Him…thankful He’s always there to hold me.

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